Frito Pie

in Beef, Soup, Stew, and Chili, Tailgating Favorites, Texas

In Texas, football is king. And chili is second-in-line to the throne.

I grew up in a small-ish southeast Texas town that worshiped football on Friday nights and God on Sunday mornings. The street signs in our town sported team colors: purple and white. A large portion of the town all but shut down on Friday nights. And on Sunday mornings, dad would have no dawdling after church services during football season – after all, the Oilers kicked-off at noon.

Of the things I actually remember from high school, my fondest memories are of those standing on the sidelines on those chilly fall Friday nights in an over-sized purple and white sweatshirt with two things on my mind:
1) Football.
2) Halftime Frito pie.

Frito pie is my very definition of perfection. It’s the world’s greatest non-Dorito chip doused in chili and topped with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and yellow onions. The very second that the Texas summer so much as hints at relenting, Frito pie goes on the menu.

Frito Pie: The Method
In a bowl, layer a large handful of Fritos (regular or scoop), a pinch of cheese, couple of ladles of your favorite chili, more cheese, and garnish with sour cream, chopped onions, and if you’re feeling adventurous – or are just glutton for punishment like us – chopped fresh jalapenos. Grab a spoon and a cold Shiner.

9 comments… add one
  • holler

    You are making me hungry here 😛

  • Oh yeah. Frito pie. You’ve got to really pronounce the T in Frito, and say the word pie as Texans do……pah. I’m from a very small town in north Texas, just northwest of Ft Worth. We ate this all the damned time. SO GOOD. But we just got the small bags of Fritos and cut them open, on the side of the bag, and poured everything on top of the chips right in the bag. If I remember correctly, we even had this for school lunches on a semi-regular basis. For us back then, it was Fritos, then canned chili (gasp), then a handful of shredded bright orange cheese, then a sprinkling of chopped onions. You know, even that was good.

    But to upgrade it with homemade chili and some really good cheese, that’s a sheer delight. I love this stuff.

  • I’m curious where you grew up… my husband grew up in Montgomery, TX and that was the colors of his high school…

    This post does accurately show what fall life in Texas is really like!

  • Oh, yeah… that’s perfect for an afternoon of football! Yum!

  • Hi Kim, I went to school in Humble.

  • Mmmhhh, I could do with one of those right now!

  • This looks so good! Perfect to enjoy during a Saturday football game. Football is so big throughout the entire South- we love our football!

  • My confession of the evening. I had heard of Frito pie before, but had no idea what it was until about 3 minutes ago. I may even have assumed it involved pie crust.

  • mike

    My wife adds shredded coconut to the chili when we have Frito Pie. It really is quite tasty that way. A little different.

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